Building From The Bottom Up

Developers try new approaches to solve the housing crisis

Had anyone told Cornelia Jones that she would one day own a house, let alone on Junius Street in Brooklyn's notorious Brownsville district, she would have laughed. The average price for decent housing in adjoining neighborhoods is $80,000, far above what her husband Melvin, a package loader with United Parcel Service, could swing on a salary of just under $30,000. Moreover, Junius Street was a wasteland of vandalized buildings and rubble-strewn vacant lots, not even a place "that I wanted my car to break down in," says Jones, 48. Yet in August 1984 the Joneses and their two children moved from...

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